So, I am not sure how I managed to stumble upon this wonderful publication. I think Amazon led me there through some intricate sequence of recommendation clicks. Anyways, each page of this catalog is a step back in time, to 1910 to be specific. It is the 1910 Sears, Roebuck Home Builder’s Catalog reprinted in 1990 by Dover Publications. Lucky for us, this brief moment in home building history was saved and republished, giving myself and others a fresh perspective on the history and future of old homes. This catalog helps me contextualize the present historic elements in my home, imagine what was in place before changes were made throughout the past 100 years, and guide me to make historically appropriate choices for our renovation and addition.
All the materials needed to build a home in 1910 are included in this substantial volume, and all available by mail order. Not only are the illustrations handsomely drawn, but the descriptions are delightfully worded. It actually reminds me of the J. Peterman Catalog. You remember, Elaine Benes in Seinfeld wrote for the J. Peterman catalog, most memorably the Urban Sombrero description. Here is a link to the modern day J. Peterman catalog, yes it actually exists, and it is even better than imagined. http://www.jpeterman.com . The catalog is really glorious if read aloud with a glass or two of wine and a good friend.
So, without further ado, here are some of my finds from the hardware section of the catalog. I am astounded at the resemblance between the catalog doorknobs and our own doorknobs. Perhaps they were ordered from this very catalog, perhaps not. Either way, with each twist of each of these doorknobs I feel like I am opening a door to history, lucky me and lucky home.
Hugs and love,